A pest control business is an evergreen but also very competitive and challenging.

The major challenge is the chaotic nature of the business. Inclement weather or seasonal changes, when pests abound, see a huge spike in demand for services. At other times, the business may become slow.

Many customers call pest control when they encounter pests on their property. They seek immediate service for valid reasons. Any delay in treating mice infestation leads to losses beyond physical damage. For instance, mice may cut power or communication cables. Leaving termites unattended may damage the structure and erode the property’s value. The lingering presence of bugs may lead to allergies and cause other serious health implications for residents.

The evergreen nature of the pest control business has led to several new players entering the market, placing pressure on margins. Staying profitable requires significant efficiency improvements and doing more with less.

Pest control is a knowledge-intensive job. Effective treatment for different pests requires different approaches. The job entails grappling with harmful chemicals. Different geographies have various regulations on the procedures applied to exterminate pests. These regulations, and the nature of the chemicals in use, change constantly. Even the profile of the pests may change over time as they develop resistance to particular types of chemicals. 

Customers expect a thorough job. If pests come back soon after the service, it reflects on the business. Customers would go elsewhere and leave negative reviews.

Read more: How Mobility helps Field Service Businesses Overcome Serious Challenges in 2022

A field service management software streamlines pest service operations amidst such chaos and challenges. Here’s how:

1. Streamlined Job Scheduling

A field service management software streamlines job requests. Some customers would have regular, annual contracts that require periodic servicing. Several one-off customers may make varying requests, especially during an emergency.

Using field service software, service managers can easily create a new ticket for every confirmed job. An automated field service solution can rank jobs on the order of urgency or other pre-set factors, or a scheduler may assign priority manually.

The scheduler assigns field crews to open work orders. Intelligent schedulers, powered by AI algorithms, match field crews to jobs. To achieve this, the scheduling suite considers factors such as:

  • Distance of the field crew from the job site.
  • Whether the nearest team already has any upcoming job assigned.
  • Availability of the tools and chemicals in the service van to do the job.
  • The competency of the field crew to do any specialized job requested.
  • Whether the schedule confirms customer requests, company off-hours, and holidays.

Dispatchers may plot the jobs for a work team along a straight route, to prevent backtracking.

Doing such scheduling tasks manually is back-breaking. Errors are common, leading to delays, missed appointments, and other mix-ups. The resultant customer dissatisfaction and the costs of inefficiencies may even cause the business to shut down.

Integration with route optimization software guides the service vans through the best routes. The software considers road conditions and traffic factors. Such effective fleet utilization saves fuel costs and ultimately improves field crew efficiency.

2. Real-time Controls

The traditional bane of field service is the inability of supervisors to have real-time view and control over operations. Without direct support, the service crew may slack or do the work slowly. A good field service suite remediates such issues.

The field service suite, linked with GPS, enables managers to keep track of their field crews. They may intervene at the right time to sort out any delays or offer guidance in complex procedures. 

Integrated dashboards consolidate information from various areas. Managers get complete, up-to-date information on:

  • Scheduled and unassigned work orders
  • Job completion status
  • Time to complete the job
  • Payment status

Integrated analytics make explicit optimal performers and laggards. Managers may benchmark the best practices of optimal performers. They may also pay special attention to set correct issues faced by laggards.

Forms and checklists further guide field teams. They can download the relevant checklists using their smartphone apps. These checklists guide the field crew on:

  • Identifying the nature of the pests.
  • The specific steps when dealing with particular pests.
  • Safety regulations are in place. 

Moreover, these forms utilize the smartphone’s camera to take images and videos to prove work completion. They can also capture the customer’s electronic signatures. The app also links to knowledge repositories, such as the to-dos for specific types of pests so that field crews can refer to them when needed. 

Effective control through the FSM software ensures work takes place as expected while delivering big efficiency improvements.

Read more: Choosing the Best Software for Your Pest Control Business

3. Effective Collaboration

A field service management software improves collaboration between the head office and remote teams. Using it, field teams can connect with the head office for clarifications. They can also connect with remote experts to resolve challenging tasks. Routing communication through the FSM suite eases retrieval and traceability and eliminates confusion.

Effective collaboration improves first-time fix rates. The improved efficiency and customer satisfaction make the business more competitive.

4. Deep Personalization

Using field service management software makes it easy for pest control businesses to provide personalized service to their customers.

Integration with the CRM allows scheduling the same crew for the customer every time.

A structured ticket-based system streamlines customer queries and dispute resolutions. Whereas, the customer app of the suite offers helpful resources such as the ETA of the field crew, the status of tickets raised, and invoices.

5. Invoicing and Payments

Work teams can use the field management suite to generate invoices. The backend collates information from the CRM and work orders. The suite emails the invoice to the customer. Customers make payments through integrated payment collection portals, such as PayPal. They may even set up recurring payments for service contract jobs.

Timely invoicing and payment collection is the hallmark of professionalism. It ensures timely cash flows for the business and reduces administrative expenses.

How to Choose the Right Field Service Management Software for Pest Control Business

The field service suite offers a host of possibilities. But not all suites are the same. Consider the following features when evaluating a field service software. 

1. Mobile Access – Cloud-based suite with smartphone apps enable anytime, anywhere access for field crews. Feature-rich and intuitive UX for smartphone apps improves productivity and makes it easier for techs to access job details, reach customer locations faster, and complete tasks in less time. 

2. Central Dashboards – Integrated dashboards make explicit upcoming jobs, customer details, location, and other relevant information. Push notifications to the field crew’s smartphone serve as timely reminders. Field crews access all information readily, improving productivity manifold.

3. External Integrations – Native integrations and APIs connect the FSM suite with other enterprise systems, such as inventory and CRM. With access to such data, the FSM makes explicit if supplies are available with the crew to do a specific job and schedule jobs accordingly. Integration with third-party platforms such as QuickBooks automates and streamlines accounting.

Read more: 4 Strategies to Increase the Revenue of Your Pest Control Business

Why ReachOut Suite?

ReachOut offers a robust field service management suite that easily adapts to all pest control businesses. The suite co-opts all the features listed above and certain advanced functionalities. For instance, easy calendar views and a drag-and-drop interface make scheduling jobs easy. The forms marketplace offers hundreds of forms and checklists, suiting all situations. 

The option for stylized forms enables field crews to carry on with their traditional pen-and-paper forms in digital mode. They may use an Apple stylus or comparable pens. A host of native integrations and robust APIs ensure seamless information flow and real-time invoicing. The suite’s strong backend capabilities provide high safety for customer data.

With ReachOut field service management suite for pest control businesses, you can attend to your customers fast, and delight them with impeccable service.

Talk to our experts to know more about ReachOut and how it can help your pest control business strive toward greater efficiency and cost savings. 

Digitize your field service operations from scheduling to invoicing with ReachOut. Connect your technicians with the companion mobile app to execute jobs and reduce paperwork in the field. Try ReachOut now and give your customers the fast and quality service they deserve.

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Aarathy is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at ReachOut Suite. She is majorly into content marketing and focuses on getting the messaging right across a host of marketing collaterals. While not working on content, you can find her juggling SEO, social media, branding and more. She enjoys exploring new frontiers in digital marketing and the associated challenges keep her going.

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